Heinz Rüther was born in Germany and obtained a degree in Geodesy at the University of Bonn and a PhD in photogrammetry at the University of Cape Town. After two years as a research assistant at the Technical University of Munich he became a member of the PAGEOS satellite program, a forerunner of today’s GPS, and in this capacity he worked at the Northlight Observatory in Tromso, Norway. His research interests have been linked to the development of photogrammetry from analog to digital, and satellite remote sensing. Throughout his career he has had a special interest in and love for the African continent and he has worked on spatial and space-related GIS projects throughout sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the Sahel. His commitment to the development of the Geomatics (surveying and geodesy) discipline in Africa is reflected by the significant number of African postgraduate students he has supervised and his initiatives towards a Geomatics education network in Africa and the Arabian region. Besides his work in Geomatics as a tool for mapping and the creation of Geo-information, he is interested in its application to Environmental Management and he contributed in this area as Scientific Coordinator in Western Tanzania. In recent years visualisation of 3-D photogrammetric and laser scan data has become a focal area of his research and he is applying this to architectural structures set in their present and historical landscapes. A long term fascination with history and African culture has resulted in the creation of an intelligent, relational GIS-database of UNESCO’s African Heritage Sites, linked to 3D-visualisations. Present documented sites are in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mali and Ghana. He is presently Professor of Geomatics at UCT, and holds a number of important advisory posts in UN-related agencies and global science commissions.
Contact: RÜTHER Heinz